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  • [Top Story]From blackmailing princes to murdering journalists: how Saudi Arabia’s spy network has expanded under Mohammed bin Salman10/22 15:40

    Inside the Georgian mansion in Mayfair that houses Saudi Arabia’s embassy in London, two offices of Saudi intelligence operatives are busy at work.  The first office belongs to the General Intelligence Presidency, Saudi Arabia’s foreign intelligence agency. Its staff are engaged in the “normal” work of spies, meeting with MI6 to discuss Britain and Saudi Arabia’s shared fight against al-Qaeda or to swap secrets on Iran.  The second office has a darker purpose. There the staff of the Mabahith, Saudi Arabia’s secret police, are tracking people of interest inside the UK.  Its operatives are watching obvious targets like Saudi dissidents who have gone into exile in Britain, or London-based Islamists whose ideology is seen as a threat to Saudi Arabia’s absolute monarchy. But they are also keeping tabs on Arab businessmen and the decadent lives of Gulf royals living the UK. The Mabahith’s spies are especially interested in compromising material they can use as blackmail to further Riyadh’s interests.       “These guys gather the dirt and they hold it until directed,” said a former Saudi embassy employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “They want to know who is sleeping with who, who is drinking and doing drugs, who is spending money they don’t have.”  Saudi spies and secret police work out of the kingdom's embassy in London Credit: Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images The set-up in the London embassy is replicated at Saudi diplomatic posts around the world, forming a vast web of spies watching the kingdom’s enemies and surveilling its own people.  While this apparatus has existed for years, it has become more aggressive and more violent under Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, who controls the Saudi security services.  His ambition to silence critics abroad and stomp out political rivals at home has depended on a new ferocity in the intelligence agencies. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is just the most extreme example.   “For many decades Saudi Arabia had a system in which the king sought to develop a policy consensus within the royal family, the clerical establishment, and the entrepreneur elite,” said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer who now heads the Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institute.  “That has changed profoundly in the last few years. Instead of a consensual system they have moved to a very autocratic system, which relies much more on the intelligence services hounding out dissent at home and abroad.”  Maher Mutreb, a Saudi intelligence officer, was allegedly part of the squad that killed Mr Khashoggi Credit: Sabah via AP  Mr Khashoggi was no stranger to the craft of the secret police or how its methods changed over time. In the mid-2000s he worked at the Saudi embassy in London as an advisor to the ambassador, Prince Turki bin Faisal. The prince was Saudi Arabia’s spy chief before moving to the UK.   One of Mr Khashoggi’s embassy colleagues was Maher Mutreb, a Saudi intelligence officer stationed in London. Mr Mutreb is now under arrest in Saudi Arabia as part of the 15-man squad accused of Mr Khashoggi’s murder.    In his Washington Post column, Mr Khashoggi noted the aggression of Saud al-Qahtani, a senior aide to Crown Prince Mohammed who was sacked over the weekend amid the fallout out of the killing. The prince’s aide made no secret of his hatred for dissidents and once asked his 1.35 million Twitter followers to give him names for a blacklist. Mr Khashoggi pointed to the tweet as an example of how unrestrained Saudi repression had become in the last two years. “Writers like me, whose criticism is offered respectfully, seem to be considered more dangerous than the more strident Saudi opposition based in London.”  Saudi Arabia’s spies have always focused on the UK, which has given safe harbour to many Saudi dissidents as well as Islamists and anti-monarchists from across the Middle East.  One of their targets has been Sa’ad al-Faqih, the leader of Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia, a UK-based Saudi opposition group that campaigns to replace with the royal family with an Islamic government. Saad al-Faqih, a Saudi dissident based in London, has been a target for Saudi intelligence Credit: AP Photo/Richard Lewis Dr Faqih was attacked at his home in Willesden Green, northwest London, in June 2003 by two men who he said claimed to be plumbers. They tried to spray chemicals in his face and then attacked him with a spanner but he was able to fight them off.  He believes the two white men were British gangsters hired by Saudi Arabia to kidnap him, a claim that the kingdom has always denied.   Dr Faqih has not faced any more physical attacks since 2003. But he has felt a heightened threat since Crown Prince Mohammed began to gather power three years ago and he started taking new security precautions. “We feel extra danger because we know that this boy is reckless and impulsive,” he said.  Saudi dissidents were rattled by an incident in August this year on the pavement outside Harrods in central London. Ghanem al-Masarir, a popular Saudi political satirist who often mocks Crown Prince Mohammed, was confronted and attacked by two Saudi men.  يا شين المهايط فـ الخلا ما يحمّس يبربر على اسياده .. ولا احدٍ درا به ٰ سلامي على يـدٍ عطته ( المخمّس ) هذي اصغر ردود السعودي والاجابه��������#جلد_الكلب_غانم_الدوسري— بيع قصايد جزله .. (@Be3_600) September 9, 2018 “They were shouting about the king and Mohammed bin Salman and they said: ‘how dare you insult al-Saud?’” Mr Dosari said. He is convinced that the men were put up to the attack by Saudi intelligence.  “I don’t think they were trying to kill me or kidnap me but they wanted to insult me and to send a message that I was not safe where I was,” he said. Video footage of the attack was widely shared by pro-Saudi Twitter accounts under a hashtag celebrating the attack. The Saudi embassy in London did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story. Saudi Arabia insists that Mr Khashoggi's death was the result of "a rogue operation" which was not ordered by the government.   Before the killing in Istanbul made global headlines, the starkest example of the Saudi intelligence's new aggression was an apparent campaign to kidnap rebel princes in Europe and bring them back to Saudi Arabia.  According to the BBC, three princes who had fallen out with the royal family have been captured since 2015. One, Prince Sultan bin Turki, a grandson of King Abdulaziz, accepted a flight on a Saudi government private jet from Paris to Cairo in January 2016.     The prince went to sleep on the flight and when he awoke he realised the jet was in fact heading Saudi Arabia. He was dragged off the plane by Saudi agents and is believed to be under house arrest to this day.  Saudi dissidents joke darkly that Mr Khashoggi’s death probably means they are safer now than they have been in years because Riyadh will be unwilling to risk another international scandal. But none believe the danger has fully passed.  Over the weekend, King Salman ordered his ministers to prepare reforms of the Saudi intelligence services to prevent another incident like Mr Khashoggi’s death. No one should expect sweeping changes: the head of the reform committee is none other Crown Prince Mohammed himself. ......Search More News

  • [Top Story]Man Pulls Off Surprise Proposal at Tennessee Football Stadium10/22 15:20

    He wanted to propose at a place that had special meaning for his wife-to-be.......Search More News

  • [Top Story]Hurricane Willa grows into 'potentially catastrophic' Category 5 monster near Mexico10/22 15:11

    Willa had 160 mph winds on Monday morning.......Search More News

  • [Top Story]Fenty Beauty is here to help you shimmer into the holiday season10/22 14:20

    Rihanna sprung another surprise on her 'Navy' of fans over the weekend, with the announcement of a new Fenty Beauty launch. The superstar's cult cosmetics brand is bringing back its ‘Fairy Bomb Shimmer Powder,' which launched as a limited-edition body shimmer back in the summer. "These 3 hyper-reflective shades come in the same superfine all-over highlighting powder formula from #FAIRYBOMB Pom Pom, but now available in loose powder form to glow all over your face and body!" Fenty Beauty has confirmed via Instagram.......Search More News

  • [Top Story]Jamie Lee Curtis' Boast About 'Halloween' Opening Is Scary Good For Women10/22 14:00

    "Halloween" made a killing at the box office, prompting its star, Jamie Lee......Search More News

  • [Technology]Fortnite's Halloween Event Returns + More in Latest Dev Update - Bloody Disgusting10/22 13:50

    Bloody DisgustingFortnite's Halloween Event Returns + More in Latest Dev UpdateBloody DisgustingTo the surprise of no one, Fortnite is bringing back their Halloween event. After hinting at the event through a series of cryptic tweets (including the reveal of this cool Arachnid Gear), Epic announced the event in their state of development address ...Is Fortnite being deleted? Rumours claims Battle Royale will end – what's the truth?The SunEpic trails Fortnite Halloween event with cryptic rhymesPC GamerFortnite Teases Nightmares Halloween EventGame RantHeavy.comall 85 news articles »......Search More News

  • [Gossip]'Halloween' crushed the box office — and here's how Jamie Lee Curtis made history - Washington Post10/22 12:10

    Washington Post'Halloween' crushed the box office — and here's how Jamie Lee Curtis made historyWashington PostSome celebrities claim to ignore the business side of the industry — they say they don't pay attention to how high their song climbs on the radio charts, or how many people watch their TV show, or the ticket sales for the opening weekend of their movie.The Baby In Halloween Was Played By A Very Surprising StarCinema BlendHalloween Methodically, Relentlessly Murders Its Way to the Top of the Box OfficeSlate Magazine'It' breaks box office records with monster opening weekendCNNMoneyall 595 news articles »......Search More News

  • [Top Story]'She seems to have crushed his throat': Lioness at zoo kills father of her cubs in 'unprovoked' attack - Washington Post10/22 11:30

    Washington Post'She seems to have crushed his throat': Lioness at zoo kills father of her cubs in 'unprovoked' attackWashington PostIt was hardly a surprise to hear the mighty roar of a lion at the Indianapolis Zoo. Chances were it was just Nyack, the zoo's “very vocal" 10-year-old male African lion. But an “unusual amount of roaring” last week prompted the zoo's animal care staff ...Female lion kills longtime mate at Indianapolis ZooABC Newsall 284 news articles »......Search More News

  • [Top Story]Report: Calls made to Saudi prince's office day writer slain10/22 11:00

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A member of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's entourage made four calls to the royal's office from the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul the day Jamal Khashoggi was killed there, a pro-government Turkish newspaper reported Monday.......Search More News

  • [World News]Spondon Post Office blown up by cash machine raiders10/22 10:50

    Residents near Spondon Post Office were woken by a "terrifying", "loud, subsonic bang".......Search More News

  • [World News]Report: Calls made to Saudi prince's office day writer slain10/22 10:40

    Report: On day Khashoggi was killed, member of Saudi crown prince's entourage called royal office from consulate......Search More News

  • [Sports]Jadeveon Clowney matches career high in sacks, QB hits, solo tackles in monster effort - The State10/22 10:40

    The StateJadeveon Clowney matches career high in sacks, QB hits, solo tackles in monster effortThe StateFormer South Carolina football star Jadeveon Clowney was all over the field doing everything for the Houston Texans on Sunday, helping to lead his team to a crucial divisional win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road. Clowney finished the game ...and more »......Search More News

  • [World News]France's Macron told Trump that nuclear pact is key to Europe's security10/22 09:41

    French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday to stress the importance of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty Trump said Washington would withdraw from, Macron's office said in a statement on Monday. ......Search More News

  • [World News]The Latest: Turkish paper: New details from Saudi Consulate10/22 09:21

    The Latest: On Khashoggi's last day, Turkish pro-government paper says 4 calls came from consulate to Saudi royal office......Search More News

  • [Gossip]Halloween Methodically, Relentlessly Murders Its Way to the Top of the Box Office - Slate Magazine10/22 09:00

    TIMEHalloween Methodically, Relentlessly Murders Its Way to the Top of the Box OfficeSlate MagazineHalloween, director David Gordon Green's entry in the long-running horror franchise, has stabbed its way to the top of the weekend box office, pulling in an estimated weekend take of $77.5 million, according to Variety. That gives the Jamie Lee Curtis ...Michael Myers Is a Terrifying Acting Challenge, TooNew York TimesDebra Hill, 54, Film Producer Who Helped Create 'Halloween,' Dies - The New York TimesThe New York TimesHalloween Unmasked - The RingerThe RingerForbes -CNNMoney -CNNMoneyall 506 news articles »......Search More News

  • [Headlines]Wave of Vietnamese Americans run for office in Orange County10/22 06:40

    A wave of Vietnamese Americans – more than half of whom share the same last name – are running for public office in Orange County, California, The Los Angeles Times reported.......Search More News

  • [Business]Exclusive: China Evergrande seeks $1.5 billion via HK tower financing - sources10/22 03:11

    Highly leveraged property firm China Evergrande Group is in talks with financial institutions to raise about $1.5 billion this month by offering its Hong Kong office tower as collateral, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. ......Search More News

  • [World News]Box-office Mourinho center of attention again in EPL10/22 01:50

    Deflated after seeing his team concede a last-minute goal against his former club, Jose Mourinho looked up from his seat in the dugout to see a rival coach taunting him just a few meters away.......Search More News

  • [World News]'Halloween' scares up big box-office numbers in North America10/22 01:11

    North American moviegoers really like to be scared, and Universal gleefully accommodated them this weekend as its new release "Halloween" registered an impressive $77.5 million in estimated ticket sales, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.......Search More News

  • [World]Afghan polling centres plagued by problems as casualties surge - Yahoo News10/21 15:10

    Yahoo NewsAfghan polling centres plagued by problems as casualties surgeYahoo NewsAfghan policemen carry out a ballot box as problems continue to plague the legislative elections on the second day of voting. More. Problems plagued hundreds of Afghan polling centres Sunday in the shambolic legislative election's second day of voting, ...Afghan vote enters second day after attacks, technical issuesNBCNews.comPolls close in Afghanistan's long-delayed parliamentary electionsAljazeera.comAfghans vote in parliamentary elections under threat by TalibanWashington PostCNN -CBS News -Fox Newsall 1,150 news articles »......Search More News

  • [Headlines]Was Interracial Love Possible in the Days of Slavery? Descendants of One Couple Think So10/21 12:40

    A box of 500 photographs, most of them black and white and in near-pristine condition, chronicle a family tree full of love and contradictions.......Search More News

  • [Headlines]Josh Hawley, Missouri Senate Candidate, Oversees an Office in Turmoil10/21 10:00

    Mr. Hawley, who is challenging Senator Claire McCaskill, has been Missouri’s attorney general for less than two years. His tenure has been rocky.......Search More News

  • [Top Story]Israel postpones demolition of Bedouin West Bank village10/21 08:50

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has frozen plans to demolish a strategically located Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank that have drawn international concern, his office said Sunday. "The intention is to give a chance to the negotiations and the offers we received from different bodies, including in recent days," a statement from Netanyahu's office said about Khan al-Ahmar.......Search More News

  • [World News]Australia's Jerusalem ploy fails to avoid by-election beating, risks Muslim backlash10/21 05:20

    In the kosher cafes of Sydney's east, Australia's surprise move to mull recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital won some support but not enough votes to prevent a huge backlash against the government at a crucial weekend by-election. ......Search More News

  • [World News]North Korea's box of bones: A mythical king and the dream of Korean unification10/21 03:20

    It's the stuff of an Indiana Jones movie: supernatural kings, ancient tombs, and government-backed archaeologists striving to harness the power of legend for a greater cause. ......Search More News

  • [Top Story]This RSS feed URL is deprecated10/20 21:00

    This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at More News

  • [Technology]Facebook working on smart set-top box for TVs that will support video-calling - ETTelecom.com10/20 13:40

    ETTelecom.comFacebook working on smart set-top box for TVs that will support video-callingETTelecom.comSocial networking giant Facebook is developing a camera-equipped set-top box for TVs that would support functionalities like video-calling, a media report said. Internally code-named "Ripley", the device would use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to ...and more »......Search More News

  • [World News]The Latest: Britain considering Saudi Khashoggi report10/20 10:40

    Britain's Foreign Office says it is considering the Saudi report confirming writer Jamal Khashoggi's death, and reiterated that those responsible must be held to account......Search More News

  • [Headlines]2 convicted Democrats seek political office while behind bars10/20 10:30

    Two Democrats are running for a political office despite being behind bars, with one of them expected to win in Texas and celebrate in jail.......Search More News

  • [Headlines]Critic’s Pick: Review: A Three-Way Smackdown Over ‘The Lifespan of a Fact’10/20 10:00

    When a gassy essayist and a pesky researcher are forced together by a crusading editor you get a topical comedy with a lot to prove.......Search More News